Marina proposes to build five boat ramps, 10 slips With county moving slowly, private firm takes lead on project

January 03, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A Pasadena marina is offering local boaters and fishermen what Anne Arundel County officials have promised for years but not provided: a plan for more boat ramps.

Pleasure Marine Center has proposed building five new boat ramps and about 10 additional boat slips on 10 acres of waterfront just northwest of the marina in the 1700 block of Poplar Ridge Road, near Bodkin Creek in Pasadena.

"In this area, it's sorely needed," said Ed Sealing, general manager for the marina, which has 105 slips, but no boat ramps. "We have constant phone calls from people looking for ramps."

Marina representatives have met with county, state and federal officials to discuss the plans it will submit for approval.

The marina's proposal calls for construction of the ramps and slips on land less than a mile west of Bodkin Point. The ramps could cost more than $400,000 to build and could be opened as early as this spring, Mr. Sealing said.

Mr. Sealing said the demand is evident. Anne Arundel County has more than 430 miles of shoreline -- more than any other county in Maryland -- but only two sites have public boat ramps.

Eastern Shore counties, with miles of undeveloped shoreline, have more ramps than Anne Arundel: Talbot has 14 and Somerset and Dorchester, 15 each, the most of any county.

County Executive John G. Gary's public search for more boat ramps last July prompted marina officials to form the proposal, Mr. Sealing said.

"We began reading about that, and it got our attention," he said. "We thought, 'We're willing to do this ourselves.' "

Jay Cuccia, a spokesman with the county Department of Parks and Recreation, applauded the marina's initiative, but denied the county has been acting too slowly to solve the problem.

"We're not dragging our feet over this," Mr. Cuccia said. "It's just a matter of looking into the situation and finding the best scenario."

Mr. Cuccia said the county has to consider whether it can afford to buy land for boat ramps, whether it can provide enough parking to accommodate boat owners and whether neighbors oppose construction near their homes.

"We would rather take our time and choose a spot carefully instead of facing those types of problems," Mr. Cuccia said.

Mr. Sealing said it could take the county as long as four years to buy land and build ramps.

"What we are saying is, we have the land, we have the money to build them and we have the willingness to build them," he said. "All we need is their approval, and it could be open by the spring."

The plan has supporters. George Bentz, president of the Pasadena Sportfishing Group, said his nonprofit organization attracts about 100 fishing enthusiasts during the club's summer fishing contests at Sandy Point State Park.

But only a little more than half bring their boats because there is not enough room to park them, Mr. Bentz said.

"We have one of the best bays around, and there's no access to it," he said.

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